A thrifty shopper always knows that there’s a balance between cost and performance: The sweet spot in between is where you get the most value. With a bigger budget, you can buy a dishwasher with all the bells and whistles, but having a smaller budget doesn't mean you have to put up with inferior stain removal. It is possible to get great cleaning power at an affordable price, even if it means passing on some higher-end features and finishes.
The best thing about the Beko DUT25401X is that it pairs an excellent, energy-efficient performance with an incredibly low price tag, giving you, the consumer, a pretty powerful bang for your buck.
During our testing of its Normal cycle and Quick cycle, the DUT25401X hit slightly above average and slightly below average, respectively, with its stain removal prowess, but when it came to this dishwasher’s Heavy cycle, it knocked out food stains like Ali in the ring, with a near perfect score. It also dries dishes like a champ at the end of the Normal cycle, with every plate and glass coming out bone dry.
When it comes to energy and water efficiency, the DUT25401X uses far less of each than average, across its three cycles. In fact, Energy Star gives it its official certification and rates it one of its Most Efficient 2021 models.
From a usability standpoint, we love the upper rack of the Beko DUT25401X, which features different tines for multiple dishes and offers an angled height adjustment. There are also two height-adjustable shelves/wine racks and a mini third rack, which is attached.
Unfortunately, the control panel leaves us wanting more and takes some effort to push down and make your desired cycle selections.
If you need an affordable dishwasher, the Hisense HUI6220XCUS may be the solution. This no-frills machine offers exemplary performance at a budget-friendly price.
The HUI6220XCUS is good for families. It has a 15-minute Quick cycle—one of the fastest Quick cycles we’ve ever tested—for fast turn over, and a Sanitize cycle for baby bottles and gross plastic toys. While it doesn’t have features like bottle jets or a third rack, it does offer high-powered cleaning capabilities.
Problems exhibited by the HUI6220XCUS are minor: unintuitive press-and-hold controls and a cutlery basket that attracts food redeposit. Still, at its price it’s hard to score a better value deal.
The Whirlpool WDT730PAHZ is an affordable dishwasher with basic features—a cutlery basket with cut-outs for individual knives, forks and spoons, a height-adjustable top rack, and a few extra wash options. It performs best on the Normal cycle, where it removes nearly 100 percent of the food stains, and each dish comes out bone dry. Its drying power is also impressive. Just about every dish we unloaded in our test runs was dry. The fan seems to be helping that happen.
The only downside is that the cycle times are a bit long; both the Normal and Heavy cycles clock in at over two hours. The 1-Hour cycle, however, lives up to its name and finishes in about an hour. The 1-Hour cycle is not as good at stain removal as the Normal cycle is, but it is able to successfully tackle less dirty dishes. The Whirlpool WDT730PAHZ is a great budget option for those who primarily rely on the Normal cycle to deal with the weekly dish load.
Hi there! We're Reviewed's appliance testing team, and we've spent many years testing major appliances in a controlled lab environment, but we also use them like normal people would in the course of their daily lives. All this means that we have a great sense for what appliances are bargains at their price points, and which appliances have really useful extra features.
Testing dishwashers is a dirty job, and we're happy to do it. We assess each dishwasher on the three major parts of the dishwasher experience—performance, features, and usability.
Stain removal —We put the three major cycles on a dishwasher (Quick, Heavy, and Normal) to the test by baking food and beverage stains—milk, spinach, egg, oatmeal, meat, and more—onto 15 to 20 dishes that are then loaded into the dishwasher per the manufacturer's loading directions. At the end of each cycle, we determine how much stain has been removed from each dish. Ideally, each dish is 100 percent clean, but that level of cleaning perfection can be harder to achieve in real life.
Redeposit —Redeposit is the term for when, during the course of a dishwasher cycle, water jets remove bits of food from one dish, only to accidentally get it stuck on a second dish. Any dishwasher that shows little to no evidence of redeposit is a winner in our book.
Cycle time —Dishwasher cycles can run the gamut from 30 minutes to four hours. Shorter cycle times are much more convenient, especially when it comes to large dinner parties, where you may need to reuse dishes from dinner when it's time for dessert.
Drying —Whether it's accomplished with rinse aid, a built-in heater, or a built-in fan, customers expect their dishes to be dry as well as clean. We penalize the dishwasher every time a dish comes out wet, whether it's sopping wet or just covered in a few water droplets.
Features and Usability
While all of the features in the world can't make a bad dishwasher better, they can really add to the whole package, especially with a dishwasher that does a killer cleaning job. We look at the various cycles, cycle options, and dishwasher specs and assess both how useful the features are—like a third rack or the way the dishwasher dries—and how easy it is to actually use those features.
The best dishwashers have short cycles, superior stain removal and drying power, and features that make the experience of using a dishwasher a painless one.
What You Should Know About Buying An Affordable Dishwasher
If your dishwasher has just died and can't be repaired, chances are that you're in a hurry to replace it. We recommend taking the time to look for a new dishwasher that's going to address your needs, clean your dishes well, and fit into your budget.
How Long Do Dishwashers Last?
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, the average dishwasher lasts about nine years. Appliance lifespans are shorter these days for a few reasons, among them broad economic factors that affect all durable goods, production of individual components that are frequently outsourced to the least-expensive third-party manufacturers, and machines being made with more plastic and less metal.
Since most consumers don’t buy appliances very often, a decreased lifespan can seem all the more dramatic when a dishwasher breaks down after just 10 years, even though its predecessor chugged along for 30.
Do Dishwashers Save Water?
If you're environmentally- or money-conscious, the prospect of using less water and energy may be appealing to you. Be sure to check out the Energy Star rating for a dishwasher to give you an idea of what you can expect your utility bills to look like.
What Is The Best Dishwasher?
The answer to this questions depends on your own personal circumstances.
If you're just cooking for one or two people, you may not need a dishwasher with a ton of extra options and features. However, if you have a big family or you often host parties, you may need more customizability in your dishwasher's cycles and cycle options. Extra cycles could include China Crystal/Delicate for your more delicate dishes, or Sanitize for sports bottles and baby bottles.
The best dishwasher we've ever tested in our labs is a Bosch Benchmark model, and that's no surprise since Bosch makes some of the best dishwashers on the market. But the adage stands true—you get what you pay for—and these guys are expensive, hovering around or well above the thousand dollar mark, depending on the model.
How Much Is A Dishwasher?
No one wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a dishwasher that can't get your dishes clean.
When it comes to performance, a dishwasher's ability to remove food stains is most important so if you're out shopping for a dishwasher at a store, be sure to ask the sales associate about the dishwasher's cleaning performance.
Also, dishwashers don't always dry your dishes perfectly, and if you need to have perfectly dry dishes—including plastic items like Tupperware or sports bottles—then expect to pay for it. Dishwashers that have heated drying options (versus just venting the hot air) are more expensive, because heated drying requires additional hardware in the dishwasher itself.
When it comes to finishes, dishwashers offer a variety of finishes, from black matte to stainless steel. While you should be able to find a dishwasher that matches your kitchen setup and your other appliances, be ready to pay more money for any finish more sophisticated than black/white/stainless steel.
Don't worry: Even though you're on a budget, you can still find a dishwasher that gets your dishes clean. While some high-end dishwashers do a really stellar job of removing food stains, more affordable dishwashers won't let you down. Mostly, the price difference between dishwashers is usually down to more or fewer special features, like a third-rack.
Other Affordable Dishwashers We Tested
Bosch 100 Series SHEM3AY52N
If you want a Bosch dishwasher, but you're on a strict budget, look no further: The Bosch SHEM3AY52N, part of Bosch's 100 Series line of dishwashers, gives you all the cleaning performance you need at a price you can afford. With a noise rating of 50 dBA, it's a bit louder than other Bosch dishwashers on the market, but we didn't find the sound very noticeable during testing. For best stain removal results, we recommend using the Normal and Heavy cycles, which do a great job at getting rid of really tough stains.
While the dishwasher's control panel is basic, you can use the buttons to access a number of different wash and cycle options. This model comes in black, white, and stainless steel finishes, but the stainless steel finish, unsurprisingly, costs a bit extra. Lastly, while this dishwasher doesn't have a true third rack, it does have a small utility rack that sits atop the second rack, and is large enough to fit ladles, short glassware, or more cutlery. Bosch's 100 Series dishwashers make some of the best Bosch features available to those who couldn't afford them previously.
With the Whirlpool WDT750SAHZ dishwasher, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. This dishwasher has a killer heavy cycle, a smudge-proof stainless steel finish, and a number of extra cycle options and drying features. While the cycles tend to run a little long, we think you'll be pleased with the cleaning results.
Even better, this dishwasher is very adjustable, and won’t have any trouble fitting large or awkwardly-shaped items. It’s easy to fold down the rack tines or to raise or lower the upper rack. If you really need the extra space on the bottom rack, the cutlery basket can be mounted on the door of the dishwasher. For a dishwasher that can take on dishes of any size or shape, check out the Whirlpool WDT750SAHZ.
Extra cycle options and drying features
Cycles run long
If you want your dishwasher to look like it costs a lot more than it actually does, the Whirlpool WDT710PAHZ is the dishwasher for you. Its sleek matte stainless steel finish means that it is mostly resistant to fingerprint smudging, so it always looks brand new on the outside. On the inside, you'll find a couple of neat higher-end features that have migrated down to this price tier. Firstly, the cutlery basket is actually mounted on the door, which frees up valuable real estate in the bottom rack. Secondly, there's a fan turns on during most cycles and dries your dishes.
Like the WDT730PAHZ, this dishwasher's strongest cycle is the Normal cycle, where it cleaned over 99 percent of the food stains, and completely dried each dish, leaving no water residue behind. The Heavy and 1-Hour cycles didn't do as well when it comes to stain removal, and both the Heavy and Normal cycles take over two hours to finish. For those who want luxury looks at a bargain, though, you can't do better than the Whirlpool WDT710PAHZ.
If you need more from your dishwasher than a great Normal cycle, the Frigidaire FGIP2468UF dishwasher gives you plenty of options. In addition to water temperature options like Sanitize and High Temp, this dishwasher also has a number of extra cycles and cycle options (like China Crystal, Energy Saver, Top Rack Only, and more) that can deal with any dish scenario. It even has a built-in heater to expedite dish drying.
The FGIP2468UF did a great job of cleaning our test dishes, although, like most of the dishwashers we test, it stumbled a bit on the spinach stain. Thanks to the built-in heater, the dishes that came out sparkling clean were also perfectly dried. The Frigidaire FGIP2468UF is a dishwasher that balances both strong cleaning performance and neat features and cycle options.
The GE GDT605PSMSS doesn't come with a third rack. However, if you lay down some extra cash, you can buy GE's third rack dishwasher kit, which allows some GE dishwashers to be retrofit with a third rack. We actually tried the third rack accessory kit out on the GDT605PSMSS, and found that it was a breeze to install; if you have a relatively new GE dishwasher with a plastic tub, this kit is a quick and easy way to instantly add extra storage and versatility.
As for its performance, we found that the GDT605PSMSS performs similarly to the GE GDF630PGMWW. All three major cycles had issues with our dirty test dishes. The Heavy cycle did the best cleaning job, but even that cycle really struggled with one of our hardest stains, the baked-on spinach. If you're shopping on a budget, and want the flexibility of being able to add a third rack dishwasher (or not), take a look at the GE GDT605PSMSS.
The Samsung DW80R2031US dishwasher is an effective dishwasher that won’t hurt your wallet. With the stemware holders in the upper rack, the automatic leak sensor, and the heated dry option, you’re getting some really useful features at an affordable price.
While both the Normal and Heavy cycles had relatively long cycle times (2+ and 3+ hours, respectively), the DW80R2031US was able to easily remove even really difficult baked-on stains. The dishwasher itself is pretty basic, but if you don’t need a lot of extra bells and whistles on your appliances, you’ll appreciate the cleaning power and functionality of the Samsung DW80R2031US.
Complete with a pocket handle and top-mounted control panel, the GE GDP645SYNFS dishwasher will net you some neat features without blowing holes in your budget. With steam options, a drying system consisting of a heating element and a fan, and bottle jets, this dishwasher is versatile enough to tackle most food stains.
This dishwasher did a great job of removing food detritus, and with Dry Boost, all of our test dishes—whether they were ceramic or plastic—got 100% dry. However, Dry Boost is not a default setting on any dish cycle; without Dry Boost, most of the dishes come out pretty wet. In our tests, when we added Dry Boost, it extended the Normal cycle time to about three hours. If you don’t mind the long cycle times, though, you’ll appreciate all that the affordable GE GDP645SYNFS has to offer.
If you assume that affordable dishwashers are under-served with features, the GE GDF630PGMWW gives you a chance to reconsider. Between the height-adjustable upper rack, included third rack, and the bottle jets on the upper rack, we give this GE dishwasher two big thumbs-up when it comes to features that add value. If the white plastic finish isn't your favorite, you can spend a few extra bucks to get the same model with a slate, black slate, or stainless steel finish.
Like the GE GDT605PSMSS, though, the cleaning performance isn't perfect. With long cycle times and difficulty removing baked-on stains, we think the GDF630PGMWW is best for a family that isn't doing a lot of intense cooking or baking.
A third rack, bottle jets, and many other features
The Whirlpool WDF330PAHW is a good bare-bones dishwasher. It only has three cycles (Normal, Heavy, and 1-Hour), and the only extra cycle option you can select is heated dry, which turns on a heating element at the bottom of the dishwasher.
Like some of the other Whirlpool dishwashers on this list, your best bet for cleaning is the Normal cycle. During the Normal cycle, the Whirlpool WDF330PAHW was able to remove more than 97 percent of the food stains, and completely dried every single test dish except for one. The racks do not have adjustable tines, so you may have trouble fitting large or awkwardly-shaped dishes, but if you prefer having a streamlined, easy to operate interface, then the Whirlpool WDF330PAHW is both easy to use and great at cleaning.
The Whirlpool WDTA50SAHZ is one of the few dishwashers at this price point that we've tested that has a stainless steel interior. Most budget dishwashers have a plastic tub, which may contribute to louder dishwasher cycles and slower drying. Stainless steel tubs typically make for quieter cycles (indeed, this one clocks in at 47 dBA, which is softer than most other Whirlpool dishwashers at this price point), and also look nicer. This dishwasher also comes with small LED lights that give you status updates as to the cycle's progression. This is especially helpful if the dishwasher is so quiet that you're not sure whether it's running or not.
As for performance, the Normal and Heavy cycles were able to clean more than 96 percent of the food stain off of our test dishes. The 1-Hour Wash cycle, however, really struggled with some of the tougher stains; the trade-off is that the 1-Hour cycle finishes in 60 minutes, while the other two cycles can take as long as three to four hours to finish. This dishwasher is best for households that run the dishwasher on a weekly, rather than daily basis.
Available in stainless steel, black and white, the Amana ADB14000AGS dishwasher isn't just one of the most affordable models we've tested—its Normal cycle does a very nice job getting your dishes clean. With only three cycles and two options, it lacks the fancy features of more expensive dishwashers, but for the asking price, it's a good value.
It struggled with the tougher, baked-on stains during the Heavy cycle, and we also noticed that there was significant spinach redeposit on other, non-spinach dishes. As long as you scrape your dishes clean before starting a cycle, though, your dishes should come out clean.
While its 60 dBA sound rating may sound loud to those who are used to the ultra-quiet dishwashers of today, if you're purchasing this dishwasher to replace an older model, it may just sound quiet to you.
If you want clean dry dishes without breaking the bank, you’ll love the Frigidaire FFID2426TD dishwasher. Even better, its top-mounted control panel and sleek stainless steel finish make it an aesthetically pleasing addition to any kitchen.
While this dishwasher doesn’t have the myriad of cycles and customization options that are typical on more expensive dishwashers, it has all you need to get the job done: a Normal Wash cycle and a Heavy Wash cycle. The FFID2426TD lacks a Quick cycle, but for those who can afford to wait for 1.5-2 hours for the Normal cycle to finish, you’ll appreciate the results. The Normal Wash cycle and the Heavy Wash cycle removed more than 94% and 96% of our food stains, respectively, and the heating rod at the bottom of the dishwasher ensured that each dish came out completely dry. For stellar stain removal at an affordable price, be sure to check out the Frigidaire FFID2426TD.
Julia is the Senior Scientist at Reviewed, which means that she oversees (and continually updates) the testing of products in Reviewed's core categories such as televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, and more. She also determines the testing methods and standards for Reviewed's "The Best Right Now" articles.
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.
Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.